Yellow-throated vireo was in our neighbor’s banyan around 9 a.m. this morning. I heard it singing a song I did not recognize as being a normal part of the neighborhood… “a broken series of burry two- and three-syllable phrases.”
So I found my bird camera that has been on a shelf getting dusty for much of the summer and headed out to stand in the driveway looking up. I was rewarded with a few pics of this bright bird wearing little yellow spectacles, a new species for me and my 60th Florida bird. (We moved here in December.)
A bird of open deciduous forests, the Yellow-throated Vireo is the most colorful member of its family in North America.
They are neotropical migrants and this little fellow is probably headed to deep south Florida, Mexico or Central America.
Here is the tree that plays host to resident and migrating birds through the year. It’s a bit of a mess for humans to deal with, dropping a variety of fruit and nut things on the driveway, but the shade is nice.
Check out the eclipse moons cast through its leaf shadows last Monday!..
Posted to Facebook Monday afternoon.
Also falling from the tree onto the driveway earlier this summer… a huge Cuban Knight Anole! It actually made a thump when it landed behind me after a dog walk. It stayed frozen in place for a few minutes, long enough to put the dog in the house and get my camera.
Looks like my little visitor is finding plenty to eat up in that messy tree.
Safe travels, vireo!
It thunderstormed and rained hard yesterday as a cool front passed through and after the rain, surprise! there were warblers. Especially noticeable were the American Redstarts flitting around, including this male I photographed across the street.
Female American Redstart.
American Redstarts are incredibly active insectivores that seem never to stand still. They rapidly spread their cocked tails, exposing the orange or yellow in a quick flash, which often startles insect prey into flushing, whereupon the redstart darts after it, attempting to catch it in the air.
Bonus photo, flowers!
Plumeria aka frangipani is in bloom. It’s the Hawaiian lei flower.
Solitary Sandpiper is not alone.
Bird is here.
The garage beyond is affectionately known as the Pondhouse. Photos were taken yesterday. We are reaching peak color here at the edge of the red maple swamp.
First year I’ve ever seen a Solitary Sandpiper. Also the first year we’ve ever had a significant muddy clay beach rimming the pond due to extreme drought and low water levels.
The rock in the photo below was underwater and invisible to us for the 18 years we’ve lived here. The streams around here have completely dried up. At least it’s been a pretty mosquito-free summer and fall!
There was one SS stopping over at the end of September. I assume this is a different one, also on its way south.
Food is small invertebrates, sometimes small frogs, picked off the mud as the bird works steadily around the edges of its chosen pond.
NYT: Scenes from New England’s Drought
Some private wells have dried up. Farmers face millions of dollars in lost crops, and federal agricultural officials have declared much of New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut a natural disaster area. Parts of rivers have withered into a series of ponds or wide stretches of stone, harming the ecosystems that depend on them. Bears and other wild animals are venturing into human habitats in search of food because there is little in their own.
Tiny little sandpiper spotted splashing in a puddle in the parking lot of Little Jack’s seafood restaurant, Hampton Beach, this morning.
Extremely adorable shorebird.
Since it is so tiny and has yellow-green legs, I think it is a Least Sandpiper.
Least Sandpipers are the smallest of the small sandpipers known as “peeps”—not much bigger than a sparrow. They have distinctive yellow-green legs and a high-pitched creep call.
This little bird is just passing through. It’s migration time.
Eastern populations probably fly nonstop over the ocean from the Gulf of St. Lawrence and New England to wintering grounds in northeastern South America, a distance of about 1,800 to 2,500 miles.
That is mind-boggling.